The vast majority of homebuyers search online during the house-hunting process, which means your listing better be in tip-top shape before buyers set their sights on your property. More specifically, the photos you’ve got posted along with your listing must absolutely be as high-quality as possible in order to pique the interests of buyers.
Photos can be the deciding factor of whether or not a buyer decides to make an appointment to see your home in person. Just think about when you’re shopping online for just about any product: if the photo doesn’t do the product justice, you’d be more likely to look elsewhere than to make a purchase. The same concept applies with listings for homes.
Unfortunately, many sellers make a few mistakes with their online photos, which can totally sabotage their listings. Here are some blunders you should try your best to avoid making when it comes to your home’s photos.
Using Too Much Flash
First of all, photos should always be taken during the daytime when natural daylight is at its maximum. This will help to create bright, clear photos without having to depend too much on artificial lighting.
But sometimes there are certain rooms in a house that may be void of windows, but you still want to capture a photo of them anyway. In this case, a flash may be required. The problem is that most built-in flashes on regular cameras or even smartphones can leave bright spots that can cover up details that you want to be depicted in your photos.
You’d be better off illuminating the space appropriately with lighting placed in strategic places to avoid flash spots on your images. Or better yet, hire a pro to do it instead.
Using Blurry Photos
If you’re taking your own photos, make sure the image is in clear focus. Blurry photos will do absolutely nothing for your home. All they will do is tell buyers that you’re not really serious about your listing or don’t even have much pride in your home. Blurry images might also tell buyers that you’re trying to hide certain flaws by keeping them out of focus.
Leaving Odd Things in the Background
When taking photos of the rooms in your home, you shouldn’t just pay attention to the actual components that you want in the shot. You should also be paying attention to things that shouldn’t be in the picture that can compromise their quality.
For instance, you might inadvertently catch your own reflection or shadow in the picture, especially if there are mirrors or windows in the room. It’s also possible to catch another person in the next room who may accidentally photobomb your shot.
Whatever the case may be, forgetting to check the background of your photos could compromise them.
Focusing on the Wrong Things
Not only should your photos be void of any strange items in the background, but they should also not focus on the wrong components. Cameras with autofocus have a tendency to highlight specific items in a shot while leaving other items slightly out of focus.
For instance, it would be strange to have the vase in the living room be the center of a shot when you’re trying to convey the look of an open concept. If you’re taking your own photos with a DSLR camera, be sure to manually focus on what you want rather than leaving it up to the autofocus to decide what should be the center of attention.
Not Taking Enough Photos (Or Taking Too Many)
Buyers typically want to see all rooms of a home online before they make the decision to make an appointment for a showing. Not posting enough images can be a downfall for your listing. But the opposite might also be true. Too many images can just be overkill and can be overwhelming for buyers.
There’s actually a specific sweet spot for the number of images that should be posted online with listings, and that number is around the 15 mark. In fact, having around this number of photos on your listing can increase the number of clicks your listing can get!
Having Too Many Personal Items Out
What you want to do is sell a lifestyle to buyers so they can visualize themselves living in your house and calling it home. But if you’ve got too many things in your images – including personal items and photos – you could unknowingly be distracting buyers. When it comes to details in your listing photos, less is often more.
Not Including an Image of the Exterior of Your Home
Many listings include amazing interior images, but they fail to show buyers what the outside of the home looks like. Failure to include exterior shots will likely tell buyers that while the inside of the home may look nice, there’s probably something wrong with the outside. Or else, why leave such important details out?
Including Items That Could Make Your Home a Target For Theft
Certain expensive items can capture the attention of would-be thieves who may actually peruse online listings to choose their next target. If you leave any valuable items in your online photos, you could be leaving your home vulnerable to theft.
Also, you don’t want to include any details in your online photos that will indicate where you live. Ideally, the street name and house numbers should either be out of the shot completely or blurred out. You’ll also want to blur out the license plate of your car if it’s in the driveway. But ideally, your car shouldn’t be in the shot at all.
The Bottom Line
There are so many little mistakes that you can make with your photos that can actually weaken your listing. It would be in your best interests to learn exactly how to take the right types of photos and use the appropriate equipment to take high-quality shots. Better yet, hire a professional photographer to take photos of your home so you can be certain that you’ll end up with quality photos that will draw buyers in.